Hear the cries of my children!

Copenhagen mosaic, photo by Ib Rasmussen

My God: without ceasing, I will tread the threshold and enter your house.
   I will ask with boldness, that I may receive with confidence.
For if, O Lord, the earth multiplies a harvest from a single grain of wheat,
   how much more then shall my prayers be multiplied by your grace!
Hear the cries of my children, my church, their sighs and their groans,
   open for me a door of your mercy:
   bring joy to their cries, the mourning of their sackcloth.
For if a flock in the field has seen a wolf,
   it flees to the shepherd and takes refuge under his staff,
   and he drives away the one who would devour them.
Your flock has seen the wolves, and they cry out loudly.
   See how terrified they are!
Let your cross be a staff
   and drive away those would swallow them up!
Hear the cries of my infant church; they are altogether pure.
   It was the Infant of days that appeased the Ancient of days.
The day when the Babe came down, in the midst of the shepherds,
   the angels descended and proclaimed peace:
   may that peace be also for all in my young church.
Have mercy, O Lord, on my children, my church!
   For my children, remember your childhood!
Let those, who are like your childhood, be saved by your grace!

St. Ephrem the Syrian, c. 306-378, hymn writer and theologian
The Macmillan Book of Earliest Christian Prayers, slightly updated


After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others
and sent them two by two ahead of him
to every town and place where he was about to go.
He told them,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore,
to send out workers into his harvest field.
Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”

The seventy-two returned with joy and said,
“Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

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